* AlternativeCharacterInterpretation: There's quite a few for the Narrator in particular, as he behaves rather differently depending on Stanley's actions. Sometimes (as in the Confusion and Zendom endings), he seems to genuinely be on Stanley's side, while in others (like the Phone and Explosion endings) he acts as an antagonist, and in still others (like the Freedom or Insane endings), he has no direct interactions with Stanley at all and simply lives up to his namesake as the storyteller. It's rather telling that the narrator is at his most antagonistic when Stanley is either deliberately ignoring his directions (Phone ending) or trying to hijack the story (Explosion ending), while obeying the narrator generally results in favourable treatment. Is he an [[JerkassGods Omnipotent Jerk]] who delights in manipulating Stanley? A control-freak who cannot stand dissent? An creator who is trying to show off something he is excited about creating only to (potentially) be thwarted by an uncooperative partner who seems to be causing havoc ForTheLulz? Such interpretation is largely left up to the player.
* AwesomeMusic:
** Par of the course when the game's opening and [[spoiler: golden]] ending feature, respectively, [[Film/AmericanBeauty "Dead Already" and "Any Other Name"]] (both by Music/ThomasNewman).
** Also, when you follow ''[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=guIaCocnNaw The Stanley Parable Adventure Line™]]''.
** The Secret Disco song, Kevin [=MacLeod=]'s "Who Likes to Party", which is royalty-free and can be downloaded for free [[http://incompetech.com/music/royalty-free/mp3-royaltyfree/Who%20Likes%20to%20Party.mp3 here.]]
** [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=45wz_ZjpgdU The Countdown music]] is pretty awesome too; really gets your blood pumping, for whatever it's worth- which, given the fact that you truly are doomed, is not much.
* EnsembleDarkhorse:
** The Eight Game is considered by many to be one of the prime highlights of the demo.
*** So much so that [[https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.omnomcom.eight&hl=en somebody has created an Android app of The Eight Game]], complete with the original sound.
** ''The Stanley Parable Adventure Line™''.
* SugarWiki/HeartwarmingMoments:
** The [[spoiler:Art]] Ending.
--> '''[[spoiler:Divine Being]]''': [[spoiler:Now, live your normal life, and wait for me in the life after this one. I love you.]]
** The Freedom Ending is probably one of the nicest endings you could get in a video game. Seeing [[spoiler:Stanley step into the wilderness, having broken free from his old life and ready to start anew,]] will put a smile on anyone's face. [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C_Bh-NPPi3s The song that plays during the ending]] is absolutely ''[[SugarWiki/SweetDreamsFuel beautiful]]'', as well.
-->'''Narrator''': Stanley felt the cool breeze upon his skin, the feeling of liberation, the immense possibility of the new path before him. This was exactly the way, right now, that things were meant to happen. And Stanley was happy.
* JerkassWoobie: The Narrator, depending on which ending you get. [[spoiler: The Confusion ending implies that he's not really in control at all and is just as controlled and trapped as Stanley.]]
* MemeticMutation:
** '''EIGHT!''' [[labelnote:Explanation]]The demo of the 2013 HD remake features a button in place of the actual ''The Stanley Parable'' demo that has a red number eight painted on it and pressing it causes a voice to shout out "'''EIGHT!'''" while the number lights up on several tiny monitors behind it. The Narrator pleads with the player that this is not the actual game and demands him to leave the room, becoming increasingly desperate if the player remains and repeatedly presses the button.[[/labelnote]]
** OH, DID U GET THE BROOM CLOSET ENDING? THEB ROOM CLOSET ENDING WAS MY FAVRITE!1 XD [[labelnote:Explanation]]If you spend enough time loitering in the broom closet, the Narrator asks if you're holding out for another ending, and says there isn't one. He then snarks that you're probably stupid enough to think waiting in the closet is the ending, and you'll go on the internet afterwards and say "OH, DID U GET THE BROOM CLOSET ENDING? THEB ROOM CLOSET ENDING WAS MY FAVRITE!1 XD" He doesn't say "XD" out loud, or any of the [[MyNaymeIs intentional misspellings]] though, those just appear in the subtitles.[[/labelnote]]
* MoralEventHorizon: The Narrator is at his most villainous in two instances where he definitely crossed the line:
** One instance where he crosses it is the [[spoiler:pawn ending, where he railroads Stanley into a nightmarishly depressing, psychologically abusive power trip. It ''starts'' with him tempting Stanley with the chance to see his loving wife, only to tell him that he ''has'' no wife, and that ''nobody loves him'', and then it just keeps getting worse from there.]]
** Another moment is when Stanley attempts to turn on the mind control facility only for the narrator to decide to trigger it into a nuclear explosion instead, repeatedly taunting Stanley as if there is a solution, even extending the duration just to taunt you even further.
* MostAnnoyingSound: To get the Art ending, you have to play a game where you save a cardboard cutout of a baby from crawling into a fire. A loudly, constantly crying baby. That would be bad enough, but the way you do this is by pressing a button every few seconds, and when you do it makes a sound like electronic flatulence. [[spoiler:Halfway through, the Narrator adds a barking puppy being lowered into a tank of piranhas to be saved with a different button and different sound, just in case you were using an auto-click tool.]] And this lasts for ''four hours.'' It's almost literally torture.
* TheTapeKnewYouWouldSayThat: Judging by approximately 100% of Let's Plays of this game, the Narrator completely has the player's number in the ''Countdown'' ending.
--> '''Narrator:''' Did you just assume when you saw that timer that something in this room was capable of turning it off? I mean look at you, running from button to button, screen to screen, clicking on every little thing in this room! These numbered buttons! No! These colored ones! Or maybe this big, red button! Or this door! Everything! Anything! Something here will save me! Why would you think that, Stanley?
* ThatOneAchievement: The HD version goes to town on parodying this. The top three "impossible" achievements require you to spend an entire Tuesday playing the game, to ''not'' play the game for five years, and the final one is completely impossible to get. [[spoiler:The first two can be acquired by adjusting your computer's date and time settings, the third seems to be handed out at random, if [=YouTube=] evidence is to be believed[[note]]...or you can use [[http://www.themutegamer.com/guide/the-stanley-parable/unachievable-achievement/ this guide]] to cheat your way to it[[/note]]]].
* UnwinnableByInsanity:
** Happens in the original mod if you get off of the elevator between the time when you push the button and when the elevator doors close.
** You can get stuck in the ''VideoGame/{{Portal}}'' room, just like the ''Portal'' game. Unlike in ''Portal'', the Narrator chastises you for doing so, making it also (a rare case of) UnwinnableByDesign.
** During the "Real Person" ending, you can jump out of the moving platform before the door closes, at which point there's no way to continue the story - one of the few rare cases of when DevelopersForesight does not apply. You do get a chance to closely examine the ground level of the storage room though, since the fall doesn't kill you this time.
** In the monitor room in the HD Remix, it's possible to step onto one of the desks and jump off into the abyss. The game has no programmed response for that, and you simply stand at the bottom with no way out.